Coming Out Day – October 11
Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender—coming out regarding one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBT people. The day is observed annually by members of the LGBT community and allies on October 11.
National Coming Out Day is observed in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, the Human Rights Campaign sponsors NCOD events under the auspices of their National Coming Out Project, offering resources to LGBT individuals, couples, parents and children, as well as straight friends and relatives, to promote awareness of LGBT families living honest and open lives.
On Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was the second such demonstration in our nation’s capital and resulted in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization (LLEGÓ) and AT&T’s LGBT employee group, LEAGUE. The momentum continued four months after this extraordinary march as more than 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from around the country gathered in Manassas, Va., about 25 miles outside Washington, D.C. Recognizing that the LGBT community often reacted defensively to anti-gay actions, they came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that second march on Washington to mark it. The originators of the idea were Rob Eichberg, a founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates. From this idea the National Coming Out Day was born.
To this day National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBT individuals to live truthfully and openly. Read more.
A sacrament is an act that mediates the grace and mystery of God.
Coming out is a sacrament for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) people of faith because it sets us on a lifelong path of manifesting God’s grace in our lives. Coming out is crucial to our spiritual development because it starts us on a journey of integrating our GLBT identity into our whole life. Or to say it another way: embracing our GLBT identity is an invitation to go deeper in our spiritual journey.
Gay Christian author and activist Chris Glaser believes that sexual minorities, often denied their churches’ traditional sacraments, have found unique access to the sacred in their lives: coming out of the closet. Glaser persuasively argues that coming out–as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered–has biblical precedence and sacramental dimensions. Using personal and biblical illustrations, he discusses coming out as an act of vulnerability, much like a sacrificial offering of ancient times, that invokes God’s presence and effects atonement, or reconciliation. In this engaging book he shows how coming out, like other sacraments, may serve as a means of grace–that is, an experience of God’s unconditional love.
Relates a coming out experience in Argentina. Responses to a pastoral letter sent by the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops to the parents of gay children after being published in Argentina in January 1999; Action taken by former Argentinean President Carlos Memem in response to the decision of the Argentine Supreme Court to upheld an appellate court decision denying legal status to the Community of Argentine Homosexuals; Way of receiving the sacrament of reconciliation.
National Gay Lesbian Taskforce
“Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you … saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.'” Isaiah 49:8-9. (NRSV)
In 1994, Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school teacher, believed a month should be dedicated to the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian history, and gathered other teachers and community leaders. They selected October because public schools are in session and existing traditions, such as Coming Out Day (October 11), occur that month.
Gay and Lesbian History Month was endorsed by GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association, and other national organizations. In 2006, Equality Forum assumed responsibility for providing content, promotion and resources for LGBT History Month.
It’s Not Unusual is a lively, anecdotal account of lesbian and gay Britain told through the testimony of those who lived through it all. What it was like to attend West End premieres in the Twenties with a monocled, cross-dressed Radclyffe Hall.
Placing GLBT people at the center of the history of the twentieth century,
Vicki L. Eaklor’s Queer America: A People’s GLBT History of the United States is a major new effort to popularize a long-overlooked chapter in the American experience.
Lemke’s interviews with 14 gay men, mainly working class, not only encompass a range of gay lifestyles–from married men leading double lives to men proud of passing as “straight” in military service–but reflect almost a century of German history. The notorious paragraph 175 of the German criminal code subjected gays to concentration camp brutalities, which are vividly described by Erichy (interviewees are identified by their first name only).
- The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America: A Reader on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights (Pitt Latin American Studies)
The city of Buenos Aires has guaranteed all couples, regardless of gender, the right to register civil unions. Mexico City has approved the Cohabitation Law, which grants same-sex couples marital rights identical to those of common-law relationships between men and women. Yet, a gay man was murdered every two days in Latin America in 2005, and Brazil recently led the world in homophobic murders. These facts illustrate the wide disparity in the treatment and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations across the region.
Sexuality and Socialism is a remarkably accessible analysis of many of the most challenging questions for those concerned with full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
- Out in Africa: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa (Social Movements, Protest and Contention)
Visibility matters to activists—to their social and political relevance, their credibility, their influence. But invisibility matters, too, in times of political hostility or internal crisis. Out in Africa is the first to present an intimate look at how Namibian and South African lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations have cultivated visibility and invisibility as strategies over time. As such, it reveals the complexities of the LGBT movements in both countries as these organizations make use of Western terminology and notions of identity to gain funding even as they work to counter the perception that they are “un-African.”
From the Boy Scouts and the U.S. military to marriage and adoption, the gay civil rights movement has exploded on the national stage.Eric Marcus takes us back in time to the earliest days of that struggle in a newly revised and thoroughly updated edition of Making History, originally published in 1992.Using the heart-felt stories of more than 60 people, he carries us through the compelling five-decade battle that has changed the fabric of American society.
- The Making of a Gay Asian Community: An Oral History of Pre-AIDS Los Angeles (Pacific Formations: Global Relations in Asian and Pacific Perspectives)
In this unique oral history, gay Asian Americans talk frankly about their struggle for self-determination and independence. For the first time, in their own words, pioneers in the Los Angeles movement discuss the gay scene in Southern California and the development of a distinctly Asian American identity.
Lambda literary award finalist, Same-Sex Love in India presents a stunning array of writings on same-sex love from over 2000 years of Indian literature. Translated from more than a dozen languages and drawn from Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and modern fictional traditions, these writings testify to the presence of same-sex love in various forms since ancient times, without overt persecution. This collection defies both stereotypes of Indian culture and Foucault’s definition of homosexuality as a 19th-century invention, uncovering instead complex discourses of Indian homosexuality, rich metaphorical traditions to represent it, and the use of names and terms as early as medieval times to distinguish same-sex from cross-sex love. An eminent group of scholars have translated these writings for the first time or have re-translated well-known texts to correctly make evident previously underplayed homoerotic content.
A Global History of Sexuality provides a provocative, wide-ranging introduction to the history of sexuality from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Explores what sexuality has meant in the everyday lives of individuals over the last 200 years. Organized around four major themes: the formation of sexual identity, the regulation of sexuality by societal norms, the regulation of sexuality by institutions, and the intersection of sexuality with globalization
Since the Stonewall rebellion in 1969, gay and lesbian movements have grown from small outposts in a few major cities to a worldwide mobilization. This book brings together stories of the emergence and growth of movements in more than a dozen nations on five continents, with a comparative look that offers insights for both activists and those who study social movements.
- Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America
- Homophobia: A History
- Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present
- American Homo: Community and Perversity
- Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman
- Vested Interests: Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety
- Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life
- Up from Invisibility: Lesbians, Gays Men, and the Media in America
- Inconsequence: Lesbian Representation and the Logic of Sexual Sequence
- Unpacking Queer Politics: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective
- Urban Aboriginals
- Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures
- Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay & Lesbian Past
- Transgender History
Produced in collaboration with PBS-affiliate WHYY, “Gay Pioneers” is a 30-minute documentary chronicling the first organized gay and lesbian civil
rights demonstrations. These “Annual Reminders” took place in front of Independence Hall each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969, paving the way for the Stonewall Uprising and the New York Pride Parade. www.gaypioneers.com
“Saint of 9/11” presents the remarkable, inspiring story of Father Mychal Judge—beloved Chaplain of the New York Fire Department, compassionate champion of the needy and forgotten, rousing Irish-American balladeer, iconoclast, pioneering AIDS activist, and the first official victim of 9/11. Narrated by Ian McKellen. www.saintof9-11.com
JIM IN BOLD
Now available on DVD
Equality Forum’s first feature-length film recounts the story of Jim Wheeler, a gifted teen from rural Pennsylvania who took his own life as a direct result of the homophobia he faced from his peers. Five years later, representatives of Young Gay America conducted a road trip interviewing out gay and lesbian youth in America’s heartland, carrying Jim’s story with them. This touching and inspirational film has garnered awards at film festivals nationwide. www.jiminbold.com
This compilation DVD includes all 31 LGBT History Month 2013 Icon videos plus the two-and-a-half-minute overview video. It’s perfect for your LGBT History Month celebration!
Ideas For The Media
- Explore the local angle. Click here to see the local connections for each of the 31 Icons.
- Embed the LGBT History Month videos on your Web site. The Icon video of the day will update automatically each day throughout October.
- Plan a story each week in October featuring the LGBT History Month Icons of the upcoming week.
- Tie in to LGBT History Month with stories of LGBT Icons in your area.
- Find a local high school or college group creating an LGBT History Month exhibitand profile the organization and their exhibit.
- Use our photos for free! All of the LGBT high-res Icon photos can be downloaded from this site and used for coverage or promotion of LGBT History Month. Contact [email protected] with any special requests.
- For story ideas, high-res photos, additional resources, or contact assistance for LGBT History Month Icons, contact Chip Alfred, Communications Director, at [email protected] or 215-732-3378, ext. 116.